Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards took place later than its traditional January slot and adopted a hybrid live/digital format hosted by London’s Ham Yard Hotel, aimed to shine a spotlight on the work of the top mobile games companies over the previous year.
MiHoYo’s Genshin Impact took home the biggest prize as it scooped Game of the Year at Steel Media’s fourth annual and industry-leading Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards, supported by Game Insight, held last week.
The ceremony saw the action role-playing title also awarded Best Audio/Visual Accomplishment, while Tencent and TiMi Studio Group secured Best Publisher and Best Developer, respectively.
Innovation of the Year went to Niantic for its ingenious reworking of augmented reality hit Pokémon Go for the 2020 lockdown, Pollen VC was voted Best Service Provider, and Supercell’s Clash Royale conquered the opposition to the Best Live Ops trophy.
Further highlights from the night included the Rising Star award, shared – an event first – by Jana and Sham Al Bdour of Sakura Games, Unity continuing its Best Game Engine dominance with a fourth win in as many years, and Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe joining the ranks of Mobile Legend.
The coveted People’s Choice Award, nominated for and voted on by readers of Steel Media’s leading consumer site, PocketGamer.com, went to Tilting Point’s SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off.
“We believe the MGAs have a vital role to play in recognising the efforts and achievements of the entire ecosystem that makes mobile gaming the best industry in the world. This is doubly important considering the forced disconnects of the last 16 months and also the incredible role that the mobile games industry has paid not just in contributing to the economy and keeping people in jobs, but moreover in keeping billions of citizens feeling a little more connected and engaged,” said Steel Media CEO Chris James.
As the full winner breakdown below demonstrates, the 22 categories (including three new additions this year) represent firms spanning the whole industry, from the games developers and publishers to the tools companies, service providers, support agencies, investors and recruiters that all contribute towards this $90 billion sector being the largest and most pervasive in gaming.
After the lobbying and shortlisting phases – the biggest and most complex to date – which took place from March to May, the finalists were subsequently voted on throughout June by our panel of 100-plus mobile games experts from every corner of the industry.
Congratulations to all the finalists and the winners!
Full Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards 2021 Winners List
Pocket Gamer People’s Choice – SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off (Tilting Point)
Best Advertising & UA Service – Unity Ads
Best Analytics / Data Tool – AppsFlyer
Best Developer – TiMi Studio Group
Best GAAS Tools & Tech – Azure PlayFab
Best Audio/Visual Accomplishment – Genshin Impact (miHoYo)
Best Game Engine – Unity
Best Storytelling – Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (ustwo games)
Rising Stars – Jana and Sham Al Bdour (Sakura Games)
Best Tools Provider – Game UI Database
Best Games Industry Law Firm – Sheridans
Best Service Provider – Pollen VC
Best Live Ops – Clash Royale (Supercell)
Best QA and Localisation Service Provider – Amber Studio
Best Indie Developer – Innersloth
Best PR / Marketing Team – Scopely
Best Influencer Marketing Agency – Game Influencer
Investor of the Year – Play Ventures
Best Publisher – Tencent
Best Innovation – Niantic (Pokémon GO lockdown reworking)
Game of the Year – Genshin Impact (miHoYo)
Mobile Legend – Chris DeWolfe (Jam City)